America’s Newest Fort Opens in Statesville

America’s Newest Fort Opens in Statesville

Jerry Blackwelder, On: 09/05/2019

It’s rare to hear about the opening of a new fort, but September 21 marks the opening of Fort Dobbs, a reconstructed full-size replica of a fort first built 260 years ago to protect the western frontier of North Carolina. 

At the time, European explorers had migrated to North Carolina only as far west as today’s Statesville, where the fort was constructed in 1756. It was the only frontier provincial fort in the State. The fort was built because of tension between the settlers and Cherokee Indians. Fort Dobbs was attacked on February 27, 1760, by some 60 Cherokees. The colonists suffered two injuries and one boy killed. The Indians lost a dozen men. 

The conflict with the Cherokees ended in 1761 and Fort Dobbs fell into ruins.

Three years ago the project began to reconstruct the fort exactly as it had appeared more than two centuries ago. The building measures 53 by 40 feet, and stood 24 ½ feet tall. Walls were constructed of oak logs up to 16 inches thick. It featured three floors, with each floor accommodating 100 colonials firing muskets. 

This new living history exhibit on a grand scale is the only State Historic Site devoted to the French and Indian War time period.

Activities at Fort Dobbs on September 21 and 22 will include living history displays, tours of the fort and historic cooking and weapons firing demonstrations.  

For a unique school field trip to help your students understand this important period in American history, plan a visit to Fort Dobbs. For more details visit

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